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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Oral allergy syndrome

Matenga matepā ā-waha

Oral allergy syndrome is an allergic reaction in your mouth and throat that happens after eating certain foods. It happens because there are proteins in some raw fruit, vegetables and nuts that have a similar structure to pollens. Your immune system can confuse these proteins for pollen, leading to an allergic reaction.

Oral allergy syndrome can cause tingling, itching, redness and swelling of your mouth, lips and throat. It normally happens five to 10 minutes after eating. These symptoms are usually mild and do not last long.

The fruits and vegetables that most commonly cause symptoms are apples, pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, carrot, potato, cabbage and celery.

There are no treatments for oral allergy syndrome except to avoid any fruits, nuts and vegetables that cause you problems. You may be able to tolerate peeled, cooked, frozen, or tinned fruit and vegetables better.

You do not need to see your general practice team unless you develop more severe symptoms. Oral allergy syndrome rarely progresses to anaphylaxis. Avoiding food that causes your symptoms is the best treatment.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2022.

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Page reference: 48934

Review key: HIALL-38559